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Canonical drops Yahoo for Google as default search engine in Ubuntu

Some time back, Canonical announced that Ubuntu 10.04 will drop Google in favor of Yahoo being the default search engine. 3 months after that announcement, Canonical pulls a U-turn and claims that Google will remain as the default search browser.

Read on for more information.

Flip-flopping software decisions at a time so close before the feature-freeze deadline is not exactly the wisest thing to do, especially when the aforementioned deadline is less than a week away, but it seems like Canonical just had to make one last wave before feature-freezing the latest version of its Ubuntu Linux distro.

Fortunately, the object of contention in this flip-flop is not of much importance to both the system and the end-user experience (except maybe for the developers involved), which merely involves changing the default search engine in Ubuntu from Yahoo back to Google.

Still it will no doubt cause some embarrassment for Canonical, which had signed an agreement with Yahoo and announced at the beginning of the year that Yahoo’s offering will replace Google as the default search engine in Ubtunu 10.04.

According to an article by technology website PC Pro, Rick Spencer, engineering manager for the Ubuntu desktop team made the announcement in the form of a blog posting, in which he stated that Google will remain as the default search engine for 10.04 even though its previous milestone builds had Yahoo as the default engine instead.

Spencer also gave no specific reasons for the sudden reversal of decisions, simply saying that “factors such as user experience, user preferences, and costs and benefits for Ubuntu and the browsers and other projects that make up Ubuntu”.

“It was not our intention to “flap” between providers, but the underlying circumstances can change unpredictably. In this case, choosing Google will be familiar to everybody upgrading from 9.10 to 10.04 and the change will only be visible to those who have been part of the development cycle for 10.04.,” he wrote in his blog post.

Source: Ubuntu mailing lists via PC Pro

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